Make Ahead

Danielle Noce’s Brazilian Carrot Cake (Bolo de Cenoura)

October 17, 2017
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

This is a cozy, remarkably easy Bundt cake that’s made in homes across Brazil—technically carrot, but acts more like pound, dressed unstintingly with streaks of gooey chocolate ganache. It also happens to be naturally tinted perfectly for Halloween (though I hope you will eat it year-round, for both dessert and breakfast). Recipe translated and adapted from I Could Kill for Dessert. To read the full story, head here. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the carrot cake:
  • 2 cups (270g) 1/2-inch (1.3cm) carrot slices (from about 3 medium carrots, scrubbed but not peeled)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (200ml) neutral oil, like grapeseed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (360g) sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the ganache glaze:
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, in 1/2-inch (1.3cm) slices
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C) with a rack in the center. Butter a 10-inch (25cm) Bundt pan and dust with flour or fine, dry breadcrumbs, tapping out the excess.
  2. To make the carrot cake: Pile the carrots, oil, eggs, and sugar in the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour the carroty mixture into a large bowl and sift the flour and baking powder over the top. Add the salt and fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula until no traces of flour remain.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and continue baking for 30 minutes more, rotating the pan midway through baking, until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean or with just crumbs clinging.
  4. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to finish cooling.
  5. To make the glaze, once the cake is fully cooled, set up a double boiler (or a metal bowl set over a saucepan with an inch/2.5cm or so of simmering water). Add the chocolate, butter, and honey to the bowl and stir occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the glaze is well-melted and smooth. (Alternately, do this in 30-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between bursts till smooth.)
  6. Spoon the glaze over the cake and leave it to set a bit before slicing and serving.
  7. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature. If you don’t have a domed container and you don’t want to disturb the glaze, poke a few toothpicks in the top of the cake and drape plastic wrap over the top, tucking the edges beneath the cake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • plotto
  • bhilz
  • Katrina Tan
    Katrina Tan
  • Marina D Polak
    Marina D Polak
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

35 Reviews

Maria M. April 6, 2020
Perfect cake to make with pantry items; lovely even crumb, moist and light, and looks just like the photo. Didn't have chocolate; so made glaze with Dutch Cocoa Powder. I'm quite an advanced baker, but my cakes seem to turn out less than perfect. This is a sure-fire no-fail cake, in a time where we can't afford to waste any ingredients. Thrilled with the technique of blending carrots/ oil/ sugar/ eggs! Love learning something new with this bake.
Gigi February 13, 2020
Gigi February 13, 2020
This is sooo delicious, and very easy to make! I added orange rind and vanilla as suggested by others. However, next time I will leave out the orange (Or only use half) and give it a go. I found that the orange flavour was more pronounced. The chocolate sauce really complimented the cake.
I will definitely make this cake again, it is a crowd pleaser for all ages.
Stephanie B. December 5, 2019
I tried this cake the first time when a Brazilian friend of mine made it brought me a slice. I loved it, and made it myself from this recipe. I like the cake a lot, it's not too sweet, and I liked the texture even when I played around whole grain flours. BUT I don't like the dark chocolate glaze here. I was surprised because I love chocolate and usually the darker the better is good for me when it comes to baking. Maybe it's because I had it the first time with the traditional brigadeiro frosting, but I think a sweeter, milk chocolate frosting works better. The cake is mild enough in sweetness that it can handle a sweeter frosting, and I think the bitterness of dark chocolate overwhelms the subtle earthiness of the carrot. Anyway, I plan on making this again soon, just not with the dark glaze.
Liezel August 28, 2019
How far in advance can this be made?
Beth G. December 5, 2018
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe! I first made it for my adult English as a Second Language class and have made it several times since. I have a lot of Asians and Middle Eastern adults in my class and they don't like the classic super-sweet American desserts. Every time I make this cake it gets a lot of appreciation. My kids love it too. In fact, my daughter asked for a blender so she could make it in her college dorm. She made it for my niece's housewarming and then my niece wanted the recipe and immediately made it again. It's a carrot cake that actually tastes like carrots.
amy November 2, 2018
I'm sorry but this is the second cake I've made from a Food52 recipe that was bland. (The other was the one bowl chocolate cake.) I loved the olive oil cake from Maialino, but this one needs spice. Doesn't taste like carrot at all and didn't have the density of the olive oil cake. The only thing that saves it is the chocolate glaze, but I won't make it again.
plotto September 18, 2018
Mine came out only 2 1/2 inches high. I don't think I over-mixed the batter. Thoughts? Even though it was short, it was a big hit. Even with my sister, who does NOT like carrot cake.
Kristen M. September 18, 2018
Hm, the only things I can think of are that your Bundt pan might be broader than the one pictured (which is about 10" in diameter) and/or that your baking powder had lost its mojo. Glad it was a hit even at a smaller stature!
Tina April 25, 2018
How about using an immersion blender instead of other choices.
Kristen M. September 18, 2018
Sorry I missed this, Tina—it's worth a try if your immersion blender is fairly powerful. Make sure the sides of the bowl are high and you try to keep the blender submerged to avoid flying carrot bits!
kilikat March 22, 2018
So delicious. I'd take this over regular old carrot cake any day!
bhilz February 22, 2018
Made a very similar version of this yesterday with GF all purpose flour in the cake and coconut oil instead of butter for the glaze. I also added the zest of an orange. Accommodated all of the dietary restrictions in my group and was a huge hit! Even those "not into desserts" asked for seconds!
Kathinka January 1, 2018
Great cake - and a breeze to make! Served it for a birthday party today, and it did deserve all the love it got.
Katrina T. December 31, 2017
Absurdly easy. Totally delicious. Added zest of 2 oranges. My husband tasted the carrot, i tasted the orange. A keeper.
Sally J. December 31, 2017
I made this because I thought it looked interesting for a post christmas lunch in australia (cool day for the choc covering!!!) but made some slight changes - I substituted Carotino oil (because it's orange) and added 1 teaspoon of orange oil and the grated rind of an orange to the cake. I also substituted demerara sugar. In the ganache glaze I added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Everyone loved it and thought it was a great variation on the usual carrot cake. I got 4 requests for the recipe from a table of 4 couples. This one is going in the family recipe book, although I thought I might try a pinch of chilli (like a chilli chocolate cake) next time!! Happy New Year all
Linda December 26, 2017
Delicious even with GF flour. With three celiacs in the family, I keep an eye out for recipes that can be adapted for a gluten-free diet. Oil-based cakes, such as the classic Lemon Olive Oil are good candidates. This cake was superb. I took it to an elegant dinner party, telling only the GF people that it was safe for them to eat, no one else knew. People raved about it, never suspecting that GF flour was used. On the technical side, I was happy to have a high-powered blender as the carrot/oil mixture pureed perfectly. Agee that the Nordic Bundt pan is worth seeking out. I garnished mine with candied carrot curls, which were gorgeous on the deep chocolate glaze. Liked the other reviewers suggestions to add orange zest to batter as well as some vanilla. My oven might be a little on the hot side as I checked about 3 minutes before the 30 were up, because it had that 'cake' aroma. Sure enough it was done, even perhaps a little over cooked. Next time I will check at 25 minutes. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Fabulous.
Margo W. November 22, 2017
How is this on the second day? Would you suggest waiting to add the ganache until the day of if making a day before?
Kristen M. November 22, 2017
Since it's an oil-based cake (which don't stale as quickly as butter-based cakes), it's excellent and stays moist on day two, but I would wait to glaze till the day you're serving to make storing easier.
Marina D. November 19, 2017
I made this yesterday and was impressed with simplicity, colour and nice flavour. Will put this in my collection. Also baked in a nordic, just different shape.
Caryl November 5, 2017
Loved this cake! I made it from the recipe with only one change, adding a bit more honey to the glaze. The texture and flavor were great. Used Guittard bittersweet (74%) chocolate for the ganache. And the Nordic Ware Heritage bundt pan made it look like it came from a European bakery!
Lauren L. October 25, 2017
Any idea if this would work as cupcakes?
lypalmer October 23, 2017
This cake was delicious and easy to make. Used a little less sugar than called for and cooked at 400 for and still came out great. Love the color! Will definitely be making this again.